An amazing animal-human interaction with a Leopard Seal

Our goal is to foster positive relationships between humans and animals. So, imagine our delight when we saw National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen interacting with the gigantic, and potentially deadly, Leopard Seal in Antarctica.

The video of this interaction, narrated by Paul, represents positive relationships at their most incredible. Their relationship lasted only four days, but will no doubt remain in Paul’s mind for the rest of his life.

Paul showed an incredible insight into animal behaviour, by understanding what the Leopard Seal was trying to teach him. Amazingly, he came to these understandings with a creature – with a jaw-width double that of a grizzly bear – showing him her sharp pearlers inches from the camera (and Paul’s head!). Paul, although admitting that his ‘legs were shaking’ and ‘his mouth was dry’, read the Leopard Seal’s intentions with the understanding that comes from experience. Had he not, the situation may have been more tragic than wonderful. It’s an example of how we hope to teach children to respect and understand animals. Children have a natural affinity for nature, and it’s this, combined with education, that we hope to nurture.

Quote of the video: ‘I think she [the Leopard Seal] thought the camera was my mouth, which is every photographer’s dream.’

Watch the video here:


Or you can view it in a larger format and in high definition on our Favourites list at the Adore Animals Foundation YouTube channel.

Paul’s book Polar Obsession gives an insight to the man behind the camera; his photos are accompanied with fascinating wildlife stories.

Australian readers can take a look at the book here:

Polar Obsession

and international readers can find the book here.


5 thoughts on “An amazing animal-human interaction with a Leopard Seal”

  1. Terrific story! Terrific photography! It is truly heartwarming to see humans and animals interacting with each other. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. This leopard seal encounter is incredibly beautiful! I think, because these seals eat penguins, we often characterize them as really aggressive and scary. They are for sure a dangerous wild animal, but they are also intelligent and social. It’s kind of like a wolf in the sea. Thanks for sharing this amazing video!

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